2014 Travel Archive: Mundgod
PLEASE NOTE: The following travel information was originally written for attendees of the 2014 Jangchup Lamrim Teachings at Gaden Monastery in Mundgod, India. Therefore, this information was accurate as of December 2014. Because situations often change quickly in India, we cannot guarantee the current accuracy of this information.
Protected Area Permit
Please be aware that Mundgod Tibetan Settlement is classified by the Government of India as a Protected Area. Therefore, all foreign visitors to Mundgod Tibetan Settlement are required to have a Protected Area Permit (PAP). Indian citizens and Tibetan R.C. holders are not required to have a PAP to visit Mundgod Tibetan Settlement unless they have a foreign passport.
For more information about this, please see Protected Area Permit (PAP).
Location and Maps
Gaden and Drepung Monasteries are located in Doeguling Tibetan Settlement in Mundgod, in the North Kanara district of Karnataka State, south India, approximately 400km/250 miles north of Bangalore (Bengaluru) and 600km/370 miles south of Mumbai (Bombay). The distance between Gaden and Drepung Monasteries is approximately 7km/4miles.
The nearest large city is Hubli, which is approximately 45km/28 miles north. Hubli is well connected to other parts of the country: it has a domestic airport, a major railway junction, and deluxe bus services to/from many major cities of south India. The drive from Hubli to Mundgod takes approximately one hour. Taxis are available from Hubli city, airport, railway station and bus station.
Below is a Wikimapia satellite map of Mundgod Tibetan Settlement. Use the + or – buttons in the top left corner to zoom in or out. For an easier view, click on the red button in the top right corner, which will re-direct you to Wikimapia.
Below is a Google map of Mundgod in relation to major cities of India. Use the + button in the bottom right corner to zoom in to Mundgod Tibetan Settlement. For an easier view, click on “View Larger Map” in the bottom left corner, which will re-direct you to Google Maps.
Travel by Air
The nearest international airports are listed below. There are direct flights from major European cities to each of these three cities:
- Bangalore (Bengaluru) – approx. 400km
- Mumbai (Bombay) – approx. 600km
- Goa – approx. 300km
The nearest domestic airports are Hubli (approx. 55km/35 miles from Mundgod) and Belgaum (150km/90 miles from Mundgod; 2.5 hours by taxi on very good roads).
Travel by Train
The nearest major railway station is Hubli Junction (approx. 50km/30 miles from Mundgod), which is an important junction with daily express trains to:
- Bangalore – approx. 9-11 hours
- Mumbai – approx. 15-16 hours
- Goa (Vasco Da Gama) – approx. 5-7 hours
- Delhi – approx. 38 hours
- as well as Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai (Madras), Ahmedabad, and many other cities.
For information about train routes, fares and seat availability between any two cities in India, see: IndianRailInfo.com (enter city names in top left corner) and Indian Railways Passenger Reservation Enquiry.
Travel by Bus
The nearest large city, Hubli, has a prominent place on the road network of south India and therefore there are numerous services (including deluxe/AC/sleeper buses) to/from many major cities in south India, including:
- Bangalore – approx. 7 hours
- Mumbai – approx. 14 hours
- Goa – approx. 6 hours
- Mangalore — approx.10 hours
- Mysore – approx. 12 hours
Accommodation in/near Mundgod
There are a few simple guest house rooms in Gaden and Drepung Monasteries as well as in Mundgod town.
In Hubli (45km from Mundgod) there are many options for accommodation in all price ranges. Click here for just a few of the many accommodation options available in Hubli.
Mundgod is located at an altitude of 550m (1800ft) above sea level. Typical December temperatures are 16°C – 30°C (60°F – 85°F), with very little rain fall.
There are simple Tibetan-style restaurants and local vendors within the grounds of the monasteries and in the settlement camps, as well as a wider variety of restaurants in Mundgod town and Hubli. Please note that there are currently no luxury or Western-style restaurants within the settlement or Mundgod town.
Foreign exchange agencies, which convert a variety of currencies, are widely available in India these days, as are ATM’s for your international debit and credit cards. Some ATM’s charge a small fee, and most have a daily withdrawal limit.
In Mundgod Tibetan settlement, there are currently only a few ATM’s: one in Camp 3 and one in Drepung Monastery (inside of the Syndicate Bank; only available during the bank’s limited working hours). As of December 2014, there are no ATM’s in Gaden Monastery. There are a few ATM’s in Mundgod town.
There are several Western Union & currency exchange agencies in Mundgod Tibetan settlement and Mundgod town.
For the latest information on travel health advice for India, including recommended travel vaccinations, visit the website of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
There are several Tibetan clinics and modern allopathic clinics/hospitals in Mundgod settlement.
For additional travel tips, see Visa & Other Advice.